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Optoelectronics, Sensors, and Discretes to Hit Record Sales in 2010

After amazing turnaround in 2009, the O-S-D markets will outpace ICs the next five years

After a horrific first quarter in 2009, semiconductor sales of optoelectronics and sensor devices staged dramatic turnarounds and finished the entire year with declines of just 5% and 2%, respectively, from record-high revenues recorded in 2008, according to IC Insights newly completed 2010 Optoelectronics, Sensors, and Discretes (O-S-D) Report. Recoveries in discrete semiconductors and actuator devices were also impressive in the final three quarters of last year, but those market segments still fell by 16% and 12%, respectively, in 2009.

Based on detailed market analysis in the new 300-page O-S-D Report, strong recovery momentum is expected to continue in 2010 with optoelectronics, sensors/actuators, and discretes markets all reaching new record-high revenues this year. The 2010 O-S-D Report shows optoelectronics sales increasing 27% to $23.3 billion, sensor/actuator revenues climbing 33% to $6.8 billion, and discretes growing 29% to $19.7 billion this year. Within the sensors/actuators market segment, sales of devices made with microelectromechanical systems (MEMS) technology are forecast to grow 34% to $5.6 billion in 2010 after declining 5% in 2009 to $4.2 billion.

The dramatic turnaround in 2009 was mostly driven by replenishment of semiconductor inventories at systems manufacturers once their markets stabilized following the sharp falloff in product demand that occurred in the depth of the 2008-2009 economic recession. In practically all O-S-D product categories, sequential quarterly sales growth rebounded in 2Q09 by 20-40% from economically depressed levels in 1Q09. Those increases continued through the rest of the year, turning 2009 into a modest setback for optoelectronics and the sensor/actuator markets. However, the discretes market segment—including power transistors—faced a greater uphill climb out of the early slump in 2009 and finished the year with a decline of 16%—its second worst drop in 25 years behind the 25% plunge suffered in the 2001 semiconductor recession. First-quarter sales slumps, overall 2009 performance, and the 2010 forecast for the O-S-D market segments are compared in Figure 1.

In 2010, strong sales growth in optoelectronics, sensors/actuators, and discretes will be driven by the ongoing recovery in demand for portable electronics, consumer products, high-speed networks, notebook PCs, cellphones, industrial and medical equipment, and automotive systems, according to the latest edition of the annual O-S-D Report. During the 2009-2014 forecast period, combined O-S-D sales are expected to increase at a compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of about 13% compared to the projected 12% CAGR for IC sales in the same five-year timeframe. Higher growth rates for MEMS-based accelerometers, gyroscope devices, actuators, pressure sensors, high-brightness LEDs, CMOS image sensors, and optical-network laser transmitters are expected to lift O-S-D sales by a greater annual percentage than overall IC sales in the next five years. The new report shows O-S-D revenues accounting for 17% of the projected $419 billion semiconductor total in 2014 compared to 16% of $238 billion in 2009.


Figure 1 Report Details The 2010 edition of the O-S-D Report continues to expand IC Insights coverage of the semiconductor industry with detailed analysis of trends and growth rates in the optoelectronics, sensors/actuators, and discretes market segments. The 300-page 2010 report (with 220 charts and figures) is available for $2,485 in either a three-ring binder or CD-ROM format. Additional individual copies of the CD-ROM or binder sell for $495 each. The report is also available under a multi-user corporate license for $5,885. For more information, please visit www.icinsights.com/prodsrvs/osdreport/.


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